Welcome to "The Dirt" where we share what you can expect from us in the coming weeks,  what's new at NatureWorks, and some garden buzz.
Not Your Typical Spring Clean-Up
Spring has finally sprung, but winter has left its mark. The damage from this year's storms will make our clean-up effort more challenging than usual. Please be patient with us as it will take longer to contend with all the additional limb debris. For safety reasons, our clean-up crews are not equipped with chippers or chainsaws, so they may not be able to handle larger limbs and great quantities of debris. In those instances, your account manager will work with you to coordinate additional support.

From utter destruction to tight and tidy - it may be slow-going, but we'll get you there.
Seasonal Decor - the Icing on Your Landscape Cake
Coming in April, our early spring bulb and annual displays shake off winter and jump-start the season while all else is still sleepy. Didn't get bulbs planted last fall? Consider your bleak spots now so we can tuck some in this fall for next year's display.

Some of our spring faves: ranunculus, alyssum, grape hyacinth, daffs, and pussy willows.
Leaf Duff is Coming!
Traditional mulch: inert, crusty, and often chemically dyed. Leaf duff: organic, nutrient-rich, and naturally espresso-hued. Leaf duff is not only the ecologically-savvy choice, it's also gorgeous - with a soft, velvety texture like rich chocolate cake. Unless you've specified otherwise, we'll be installing this fabulous stuff for you at mulch time this year. (For the 3 of you who opted for traditional mulch, there's still time to make the switch! Let us know!)

Leaf duff - a feast for your plants - and for your eyes!
Welcome Giles!
Giles MacDonald joined our Account Manager team this winter and he fits right in at NatureWorks with a passion for both horticulture and customer service. He previously managed a garden center in Rhode Island and brings a wealth of expertise - he's a certified arborist, a certified horticulturist, and certified in invasive removal. Plus, he's got a degree in turf management. And, he's delightful. Please say hi if you see him on your properties.

Smilin' Giles at the Boston Flower Show with teammates Mary, Karin, and Chris.
Matt the Disruptor
Our very own Matt Gramer was the keynote speaker this month at the Massachusetts Landscape Professional spring meeting. His topic, "Inspired by a Few Great Books and a lot of Great People" was a giant hit with the crowd. Always looking to shift the paradigm and break the mold, Matt shared stories of seeking ideas outside his own business and how's he's adapted them inside NatureWorks to offer more value to clients and be a better employer to staff.

Matt and some of his greatest inspirations.
Lifelong Learning
This March, three of our staff members joined the ranks of MA Certified Landscape Professionals. All from our account manager team: Laura, Chris, and you guessed it - one more for our already super-certified Giles. A huge thanks to Jenny who ran study groups all winter to help us prepare. 

Winter twig ID at MCLP study group with Giles & Chris up front. (Laura's taking the pic.)
Oh Deer!
Oy! Freezing temps and heavy snow cover this winter forced the deer to forage in places they don't usually touch, leaving some shrubs  completely stripped. Don't fret though - our mad-scientist plant-geek Bill has concocted a hormone-nutrient mix to help your plants push out new growth. Consult with your account manager to determine if this hormone bath is appropriate for your landscape.

The skeletal remains of a holly, a yew hedge, and a rhodie.
Early Bloomers
We may be just coming out from under the snow, but several plants have been blooming all through March. Our native Witch Hazel is easily mistaken for forsythia, but these much more sophisticated and elegant plants have been blooming since February. Subtle hellebores bloom even under snow cover, waiting patiently to strut their stuff after the melt. And nope, those aren't pussy willows, they're poplar buds!

Witch Hazel, Hellebore, & Poplar blooms all taken from NatureWorks properties during scouting visits this winter.
"Spring is Nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'"
~ Robin Williams